Ivan Milat, Australia’s most notorious serial killer who murdered seven backpackers in the 1990s, cut off his finger in jail and tried to mail it to a judge at the country’s highest court.

The 64-year-old is serving seven life sentences for the murders of the backpackers — including two British women and three Germans — at the Supermax maximum security prison at Goulburn, 125 miles south west of Sydney.

On Monday afternoon Milat, who has a history of self-harm in jail, was reported to have used the serrated plastic knife that came with his meal to sever his left little finger, then placed it in an envelope addressed to a judge on Australia’s High Court.

He handed the envelope to a prison officer, who quickly arranged for the prisoner, and his detached digit, to be transferred to a local hospital under extremely tight security.

Milat was reported to be calm and not showing any symptoms of shock, despite having just cut off his own finger. In the hospital under the guard of four Extreme High Risk Escort prison officers, doctors assessed the mass murderer’s finger and deemed it too late for it to be reattached.

The NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that he had no sympathy for the prisoner, who has repeatedly mutilated himself in efforts to try to escape jail and protest about his prison conditions.

“He probably couldn’t count to ten anyway before the incident,” Woodham told the paper.

He added: “Whether Ivan Milat has decided to sever his finger or not doesn’t alter the fact that he is a serial murderer who will die in jail.”

Milat has previously threatened suicide and swallowed razor blades, staples and part of a metal toilet chain in what were seen as attempts to be transferred to hospital to try to escape.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.